President Paul Kagame has urged African countries to begin investing in each other as the key to the continent’s continuous economic growth.
The President made the remarks while speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference panel on Africa’s future, on Tuesday.
Moderated by CNBC Editor in Chief Brownyn Nielsen, and titled, “Beyond the Headlines: Global Leaders Explore Africa’s Future,” the discussion included Scott Minerd, Chairman of Investments and Global Chief Investment Officer of Guggenheim Partners, Patrice Motsepe, founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals and Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister.
“We are missing an opportunity in our own countries: intra-African trade and investment. If we increase intra-African trade it has the capacity of attracting more of the foreign direct investment we want,” President Kagame said.
Africa is home to the fastest growing economies in the world. The economy of the region is set to register another year of solid performance, expanding at 4.5 per cent in 2015, according to the IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa projections.
While this rate will be at the lower end of the range experienced over the last few years, sub-Saharan Africa will remain among the fastest growing regions of the world.
According to a statement from the presidency, President Kagame noted that Africa’s future should be centered on regional integration.
“Regional economic groups work better for economies and provide more coherent and beneficial markets. That is why in East Africa, we work together. We identify areas of needs, address the problems as well as attract investments,” he said.
“This does not remove responsibility from individual countries to be able to create stability within their own borders and create a sense of security for investors.”
The President called for political will to create a business friendly environments that lead to partnerships that benefit both investors and the countries in which they invest.
The panel discussion also marked the launch of the Africa Business Fellowship that aims to foster business relationships between Africa and the United States.
The fellowship, launched at the Milken Institute in partnership with Econet, the African Leadership Network and Management Leadership for Tomorrow Network, will offer 15 successful American business leaders a fellowship to partner with African companies.